Vantroba et al v. Zodiaco et al., MMP&S obtained a reversal and dismissal of wrongful death claims in the Appellate Division, Second Department. The decedent died of smoke inhalation from a fire that started on top of the stove in the decedent’s apartment. The decedent’s estate sued the building owner claiming that the owner had improperly installed the stove, which would allegedly spontaneously turn on while unattended. The Supreme Court, Kings County denied the summary judgment motion that Milber Makris Plousadis & Seiden filed on behalf of the building owner, finding that there were issues of fact as to the owner’ potential negligence. On appeal, the Appellate Division, Second Department reversed the lower Courtâ€™s ruling and dismissed the estate’s claims.
The Appellate Court determined that our client did not create the alleged condition with the stove and did not have notice of the alleged condition. The Court’s ruling is notable in that it limits a property owner’s liability based upon an alleged duty to inspect the property.